Wetland delineation and characterization layers 2014-2017, Rwanda

  • Stefanie Steinbach (Creator)
  • Natalie Cornish (Creator)
  • Jonas Franke (Creator)
  • Konrad Hentze (Creator)
  • Adrian Strauch (Creator)
  • Frank Thonfeld (Creator)
  • Sander Zwart (International Water Management Institute) (Creator)
  • Andy Nelson (Creator)



Wetlands are highly productive ecosystems and provide a range of goods and services on local to global scales and have become key sites of agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa. This is the case for East African countries such as Rwanda, where agricultural expansion into wetlands and agricultural intensification are crucial elements of the government's strategy to increase food production and decrease dependence from global food markets. However, spatially explicit information of the location and status of wetlands for informed decision making is lacking or not up to date. In the related research article, we therefore develop a framework comprising the following spatial layers: Delineation, Surface Water Occurrence (SWO), Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) classification and Wetland Use Intensity (WUI). These layers are based on satellite imagery from the European Copernicus Programme and cover the whole of Rwanda. The Delineation is derived from a static Potential Wetlands layer and Sentinel-2 imagery using object-based image analysis (OBIA). The SWO is a per-pixel count of the times a location was detected as flooded using Sentinel-1 imagery. For the LULC classification, an object-based decision tree classifier is applied to Sentinel-2 imagery in Combination with the Delineation layer and the SWO. The WUI layer is based on the Absolute Mean Spectral Dynamics indicator depicting pixel-wise changes in reflectance values in Sentinel-2 bands relevant for wetland vegetation and hydrological dynamics. All layers refer to the year 2017, except for the SWO layer, which covers surface water dynamics from 2014 to 2017. The layers can be used individually or in combination and thus adapted to the different information needs for sustainable wetland management.
This dataset contains the Potential Wetlands map based on topographic indices, the Wetland Delineation derived from it, the Surface Water Occurrence layer, the Land Use/Land Cover map, and the Wetland Use Intensity layer. For appropriate map display we provide QGIS layerstyle files associated with these layers.

This research was conducted within the project Copernicus-based Detection and Monitoring of tropical Wetlands (DeMo-Wetlands), which was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (grant no. 50EE1537).
Date made available16 Dec 2020
Date of data production16 Dec 2020

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